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DR SANDIP KAMATH – AITHM NHMRC RESEARCH FELLOW

Dr Sandip Kamath is one of AITHM’s key researchers working in the field of allergy. His work focusses on identifying novel methods to understand allergenic proteins to help reduce food allergies in humans.

From an early age Dr Kamath had a deep fascination with science. A school lecture on how genes translated to proteins resulted in his passion for biotech research, with a focus on translational mechanisms. He also had a strong desire to see his work help people.

After graduating in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Mumbai, and a year working for a pharma consultancy, Dr Kamath moved to Australia in 2006 to complete a Masters in Biotechnology at RMIT. He later joined Professor Andreas Lopata at JCU in Townsville to establish the Molecular Immunology Research Group in the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences. Under Professor Lopata’s supervision he completed his PhD, focused on the identification and characterisation of major shellfish allergens for development of novel allergy diagnostics.

Dr Kamath’s work examines the characterisation of allergenic proteins from different food and inhalant sources and their interaction with the human immune system through IgE antibodies. His broader research interests include paediatric food allergy diagnostics, occupational allergy and development of novel immunotherapeutic for food allergy.

He uses state-of-the-art proteomic and molecular cloning techniques to elucidate specific antigenic regions of allergenic proteins, with an aim of designing and generating hypoallergenic constructs for potential therapeutic applications. His research also investigates how allergens get stronger, and how they react and respond to each other.

Dr Kamath joined AITHM as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in 2015 where he has developed collaborations with institutes in Norway and Canada. In 2016 he was awarded an NHMRC Fellowship to continue his work.

In 2017, Dr Kamath will undertake an internship with the venture capital section of the MRCF to understand the commercialisation and start-up process, the gap between research and venture capital, research translation and commercialisation, and links between IP, patents and clinical trials.